back to article Ring Chime: Needy wireless doorbell or $30 bling t'ing?

We were quite taken with the Ring doorbell earlier this year. For $200, and after some very basic DIY, you get a high-tech security device. It includes an HD camera, an intercom, a motion sensor and, yes, a doorbell. The Ring links to your phone, gives you alerts, lets you watch video of people through it and lets you have a …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wireless charging?

    This could work, just have a magnetic plug-in charger (with extra memory, USB interface, radio etc) that recharges in 10 minutes.

  2. Warm Braw Silver badge

    What's the big deal with wires?

    Admittedly a pain to retrofit if you live in a plaster-on-brick house with concrete floors and don't want wires tacked to your skirting boards, but for other forms of construction you can buy a lot of bellwire for $30 and usually find an invisible route for it.

    Alternatively you could get something like this for a similar sum and just give it an occasional twist on your way out..

    1. Perpetual Cyclist

      Re: What's the big deal with wires?

      I've just fitted one. It works a treat. No more batteries and I fitted a cast iron bell push more in keeping with the thatched roof and lime plaster walls.

      On my previous house I fitted a Victorian style bell and bell pull, but that was a bit more of an exercise.

  3. frank ly Silver badge

    Another way

    You can get a wireless doorbell with battery powered push button and two small mains powered chime units for between £10 and £15 on ebay. If you want to spend more money, you can get then with more buttons and more chime units.

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: Another way

      One of my better decisions was throwing away our wireless door bell. Complete POS, because it had a long range but only eight different "channels", so real risk of conflict with neighbours, when the mains power went down the mains sounder would resync to the first pushed door bell, and the battery in the bell push gave no warning of its demise. I flinch in horror at the needless complexity of an IoT or phone connected door bell. A simple bell wire connected unit powered by a couple of D cells is sooooo much better.

      But even then half the delivery drivers are now trained to ignore door bells because they so often don't work. The best solution is a damned great brass door knocker. Traditionalists can opt for a dog's head, but I've been on the look out for a big brass tallywhacker, resting on a pair of pods - strangely these don't seem to be widely stocked.

      1. Big John Silver badge

        Re: Another way

        Speaking of knockers...

  4. JakeMS Silver badge

    Simple solution to the "in the plug socket" problem..

    So.. why not just have a second (or only) version that has a detachable power cord? This is EASILY done and has been done for well, ever on various electronic devices.

    This way, it can still be plugged into a power socket, but you can attach a power cord that is long enough to take it from the ground to head height or higher if you prefer to get high.

    Sure, it means it's not wireless and sure it means your going to have a wire going up the wall, but you can still do it discretely say, run it along the skirting and then up the side of a door frame pinned down with the ringer above the door.. you'll barely notice the wire if you do it right.

    Now I know people are screaming "BUT WE WANT WIRELSSS" but you have to understand that wireless is mostly helpful for devices that are either A) going to be moving a lot, B) would otherwise leave a nest of wires on the floor.

    But this device should only need one wire and that'd be the power cord, it can still connect wireless to the router.

    Then again, an optional Ethernet socket wouldn't go amiss for those of us who aren't wire-phobic and would like to ensure the device doesn't accidentally lose wireless connection. (But still retaining the wireless functionality.)

    But yeah.. that's your solution to the ringer position issue.

    Either that or run an extension cord up high, stick it to the wall then plug the device in.. but then yes that's messy.

    1. Pookietoo

      Re: Simple solution to the "in the plug socket" problem..

      Stick it in a light socket.

  5. PNGuinn Silver badge
    FAIL

    Hi, Tech!

    Back home in Arnold Castle here in Blighty we have a somewhat more robust solution.

    It consists basically of a half rectangle of stout brass hinged to the letterbox. It is operated by simply raising it by something like 90 degrees and wacking it smartly against the letterbox.

    Unfortunately the technology seems a little advanced for the employees of her Majesty's Royal Mail (and other miscellaneous bods) to appreciate - most seem to bash on the door glass with their fists to get attention.

    I've considered pinning a detailed set of instructions to the door.....

    1. JakeMS Silver badge

      Re: Hi, Tech!

      I'd suggest do it :-).

      We got a glass porch/door over our front door which is always unlocked.. inside you have a proper door with a proper knocker on it (old school brass, makes a lot of noise if you use it) you can see this clearly while you are stood outside.

      But our friendly delivery people like to stand outside, in the rain, knocking on the unlocked outside door wondering why no one is answering.. the answer is simple, no one can hear them knocking on that door.

      If they come inside, use the knocker it's clearly heard every time. I have now literally stuck a permanent written sign stuck at eye level on the outer door that says "If delivering packages please use inner door knocker however if you are a Jehovahs Witness please go away and don't come back." in big bold writing.

      And we still get occasional delivery people outside in the rain knocking on outer door leaving us "Sorry we missed you!" notes on the floor outside or wedged into outer door frame.

      But it went from 9 out of 10 waiting outside to roughly 3 out of 10. So big improvement.

      So yeah, I'd say signs can be beneficial :-)

      I still don't understand why they would stand outside in the rain though, if I had a choice of waiting for someone to answer inside a dry porch or waiting outside in the cold rain.. I'd pick the porch.. but maybe that's just me.

      1. Anomalous Cowturd
        Flame

        Re: Signs can be beneficial...

        Yesterday, a braindead courier of the Yodel variety managed to not deliver a package to me, despite a detailed description of how to find me, and two phone numbers to call if they couldn't...

        Luckily, the solicitor's office that received it could read, and rang me.

        Yodel? Burn them with fire!

        1. druck

          Re: Signs can be beneficial...

          Yodel have thrown a set of glass kitchen pans over a 6ft locked gate, put a parcel inside the recycling bin on collection day, and left a book in a cardboard packaging outside the back door during thunderstorm. All items were destroyed, so if a company uses Yodel, I don't use them.

      2. MattPi

        Re: Hi, Tech!

        "But our friendly delivery people like to stand outside, in the rain, knocking on the unlocked outside door wondering why no one is answering.. the answer is simple, no one can hear them knocking on that door."

        Maybe this is an American perspective, but there's probably company rules about opening a door to a house unannounced, even if there's a sign telling you to do so. Liability, both that it opens up "something disappeared and the only person that was here was the delivery" and "suddenly this man was in my house so I shot him".

        1. Big John Silver badge

          Re: Hi, Tech!

          Not to mention that PO'ed pooch inside the porch...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Complete

    Waste

    Of

    Money!!!

  7. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Flame

    Main problem round here

    is no-one uses the ****ing doorbell. *If* you're lucky, you might hear the mouse fart they call a knock.

    When we actually got to ask our postie why he never rang the bell he didn't say "what bell" (which would have been understandable). No, he just said "I don't know if it works or not."

    He's a moron. He's part of a league of morons.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Main problem round here

      Whenever I see a doorbell, I usually press it and knock on the door - on the assumption that a lot of doorbells don't work.

      1. BlartVersenwaldIII
        Megaphone

        Re: Main problem round here

        Can't really see any proper geeks and nerds using such old-skool devices, most of us IOT early adopters all have accounts with drbllr.io and use the smartphone app. It's really simple - instead of pressing the bell, you just make sure you're in range of their home wi-fi network (that's how the proximity works), look them up in your contacts the the drbllr.io app will tell you if they're in the house or not (drbllr.io keeps a check on your GPS signal and assumes you're inside if the GPS is within 50m of your house and their phone is connected to their wifi network), and if they are you get the option to send a rng.io to their drbllr. This will play a tune of their choice (or of your choice if you've got a premium account) as well as reading out the name and facebook status of the person who's drbllring you.

        It's so simple and useful I don't understand why everyone isn't using it.

        1. VinceH Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Main problem round here

          "It's so simple and useful I don't understand why everyone isn't using it."

          What I don't understand is how three (so far) people took that seriously and downvoted you.

        2. Not That Andrew

          Re: Main problem round here

          That's one of Steve Bong!'s more successful start-ups, isn't it?

        3. Mark 85 Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Main problem round here

          Well Gee... why don't the plod have one? That way they can keep track of us make sure were all tucked safely in our beds at night.

      2. Pookietoo

        Re: the assumption that a lot of doorbells don't work

        Press the button and listen - if you hear a bell then it's working, if you don't then try the knocker. At no point should you knock against the antique stained glass in the door.

    2. Pliny the Whiner

      Re: Main problem round here

      If he was in "The League Of Extraordinary Morons" with Sean Connery, I probably saw him.

    3. Jim 59

      Re: Main problem round here

      Royal mail package deliveries prefer to just put a card through the door. No knock, no delivery, no bell, nothing.

      The card says something like "we tried to deliver your parcel but nobody was in. Please call at the depot". A more accurate wording might be "we didn't try to deliver your parcel, here's a card, come and get it". Easier for them I suppose. 20 seconds saved for them. 8 mile round trip for me.

  8. martinusher Silver badge

    Get a dog

    The ultimate doorbell repeater. It actually can predict when the doorbell is about to be rung. It makes quite a lot of noise and will automatically move about the house to where it thinks the noise will be heard. Like a lot of modern devices it does require regular recharging (and discharging) but it doesn't take up any power sockets.

    Depending on the type of dog you may get additional features such as built in home security or maybe just a roving biohazard.

    1. Big John Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Get a dog

      Heck, dogs activate even when the visitor doesn't try ringing or knocking!

  9. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Will it at least still work...

    ...when the cloud service (or your Internet connection) is down?

    1. Tromos
      Joke

      Re: Will it at least still work...

      Of course it will. Whoever heard of a dog needing an internet connection?

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Will it at least still work...

        "Whoever heard of a dog needing an internet connection?"

        Who hasn't?

        "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Will it at least still work...

          ""On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

          Now you do; I'll have to sniff you out and bite you.

  10. Commswonk Silver badge

    This reminds me of...

    PLES RING IF AN RNSER IS REQIRD.

    PLEZ CNOKE IF AN RNSR IS NOT REQID.

    Anyone who doesn't recognise the source of the above had a deprived childhood. :)

    (Just don't use a wireless doorbell with batteries in the receiver; they don't last very long and are a PITA)

  11. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I don't get it...

    Most houses I've been in, the doorbell is hardwired to the house mains. Usually a lighting or power plug circuit. The doorbell button is hardwired to the bell. What's so flippin' difficult about hooking up to that? Oh... wait... IoT... need a network connection to let anyone who wants to listen know there's someone at my door.

  12. Bassey

    Solution to taking up an extra plug

    We got a wireless door chime from B&Q a few months ago. Whilst the cheapest one they had required the chime part to take up a mains socket, on the next one up (which we went for) the Chime part had a 2.1A USB port. The Chime is in the living room and has a micro-usb cable permanently attached for use by, well, whoever needs it at the time. Very handy.

    On a related, albeit off topic, subject my youngest has got himself a Goodman's radio alarm clock with two USB sockets, both of which are rated at 2A. Brilliantly useful.

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